Poem: “Address to Slavery” by Samuel Wright (Published in the Anglo-African Magazine 1860)

0 Posted by - March 18, 2021 - Black History, BLACK MEN, LATEST POSTS, Poems

The Weekly Anglo-African Magazine was founded in January 1859 by New York–based journalist and book publisher Thomas Hamilton. The Magazine was a key site of African American literary production and political debate. Its list of regular contributors included some of the most celebrated African American writers of the 19th century: Edward Wilmot Blyden, Mary Ann Shadd Cary, Martin Delany, James McCune Smith, Daniel Alexander Payne, Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, and Sarah Mapps Douglass.

Two major features set magazine publication apart from its African American and abolitionist journal peers. First, it was introduced to the public as a literary and scientific magazine. Second, it invited contributions solely from African American and Afro-diasporic writers. In so doing, it hoped to create a safe space in which the black public could voice its opinions and concerns without fear of white censure.

Six months after the founding of the Anglo-African Magazine, Hamilton introduced its newspaper offshoot, entitled the Weekly Anglo-African. He published the magazine until March 1860, after which its publication was indefinitely suspended, but the weekly ran until March 1861, when Hamilton was forced to sell it to George Lawrence Jr. and James Redpath who renamed it The Palm and Pine two months later. Thomas’s brother, Robert, revived the old Weekly Anglo-African by August 1861. It remained in print until December 1865.

Address to Slavery’

By Samuel Wright

Slavery, O Slavery! I cannot conceive

Why judges and magistrates do not relieve

My down-trodden people from under thy hand,

Restore them their freedom, and give them their land.

The loud voice of reason incessantly cries,

Ye lovers of Mammon, when will ye be wise?

How long will misanthropy reign in your hearts?

Behold the poor slaves, and consider their smarts.

Upon the plantation they labor and toil,

Exert all their strength to enrichen the soil,

While the sun pours upon them its hot scorching ray,

Without intermission the whole livelong day.

Hope God by His power will save them at last,

And bring them as Israel in ages that’s past,

Out of the reach of proud slavery’s chain,

To enjoy the sweet comfort of freedom again.





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